Why my husband deserves a gold medal

He taught me how to drive stick shift on vacation.

Getting to drive [almost] every day, I became a lot more confident in driving a manual transmission. And since it was a rental car with all sorts of insurance coverage on it, I was a little less nervous about breaking the car.

He was a very patient and encouraging teacher. Just like that time he taught me how to snowboard.

Let me say this, though. I sure wish I’d learned this when I was 16 and learning to drive. It’s far more stressful learning later, when you feel like you’re starting all over again. Plus, having your almost 5-month-old baby in the backseat adds a whole new level to the anxiety of shifting and stalling and driving through traffic and hoping you don’t cause any accidents.

We were lucky though, and Theo slept a lot of the time [thank you, buddy!] and that helped a lot.

I now feel a lot more confident in driving what is here a normal car. I still feel like it would be helpful to practice more, and thinking of driving in Hamburg with all this traffic makes me extremely nervous. But if worse came to worst, I could do it if I needed to. Whereas before, my inability to drive was definitely a handicap. I’ll admit, I still prefer automatic, though.

Can you drive stick shift? Which do you prefer?

Baby sun hat

Before we left on vacation, I realized I didn’t have a sun hat that fit Theo’s head anymore. I shed a tear for his newborn hat, and then set out to make my own the night before we left.

I kind of mixed two different styles from two different tutorials I’d found on Pinterest. For the main hat, I used this tutorial on how to make an infant sun hat. Then, instead of sewing around it, I decided to give it a bias tape edge à la this tutorial, but without the straps. Because I wanted to keep it reversible.

I used fabric we bought in Berlin at a market, blue bias tape, and leftover fabric from our bedroom curtains. I’m pretty happy with the finished product! It’s not perfect, but it didn’t need to be!

I didn’t do any fancy measuring (apart from checking his head circumference against the pattern) and just hoped it worked out, which thankfully it did. It stayed on well enough without the straps, too. Because the curtain fabric was a bit thicker, it worked out okay that I didn’t use any interfacing. It’s nice to be able to make something like this!

Twenty-Eight

I turned 28 years old yesterday, and it was a really wonderful birthday! It was a lovely fall day and I wore one of my favorite shirts and leather boots. My boys took me out to breakfast at a café in town – when the one we were planning on going to wasn’t open, we instead ended up at the same café where we’d interviewed our wedding photographer two years ago.

We then took a nice walk back, and Theo fell asleep holding these rings on his toy. So precious!

When we got home, I got to open some presents, one of them being this awesome book:

(Translation: ooh la la, who farted? HILARIOUS BOOK!)

Theo tried to eat the wrapping paper while I wasn’t looking…

Tobias wrapped up the big present in his typical manner. Not very sustainable, ahem, but his aluminum foil gift wrap has a long history for us. Hence the phrase he wrote on it.

(The big present was a fancy-schmancy electric toothbrush…with bluetooth and an app and everything!)

He also signed me up for a sewing course, which starts in the new year. So excited!

Theo wanted to be cuddled a lot yesterday, so that was nice. And when he went to bed, I sewed him up a sun hat, since his head has grown too big for his other sun hat.

My parents had these lovely flowers delivered…simply gorgeous!

I had a wonderful birthday, and I felt very special and loved. This first birthday as a parent really surprised me at how different things feel when you realize just how special it is to be born and to grow older year after year. My little boy is already growing up so fast, and my life changed forever when he entered into our lives. There’s something just…magical about it all. Wrapping your head around the fact that you were once a tiny little baby, too, and that your parents were so thrilled to welcome you into their lives.

That’s me, twenty-eight years ago. Incredible.

We’re leaving today for vacation…off to Mallorca! (But first, finish packing and cleaning!)

Happy fall

A few days late, but that’s all right.

We’ve had awesome weather this year, and I’m grateful. A mild winter, all things considered. Nice spring days. A warm summer, and now a nice fall. Life is good!

I found this leaf on a walk last week. It had just rained a bit and the sun had come back out. Water droplets are amazing: perfect little orbs, reflecting their surroundings. Nature is a beautiful thing.

I went to the doctor’s office on Monday to get a lump checked out that I found. The waiting room was full of coughing, sniffly people. Sure enough, two days later, I ended up with a cold. After some ibuprofen, chicken soup, naps, and lots of tea, I’m feeling a bit better this evening. I’m just hoping my boys don’t catch it. Theo will at least get some antibodies from my milk. And with that, I’m headed to bed now, at 9:30 p.m. Here’s hoping tomorrow will be better.

Kinderreisepass

A few weeks ago, we got Theo’s German passport in preparation for our upcoming flight to Mallorca.

They make special kids’ passports, which can be used all over (except for travel into the USA, but we’ll have his American passport for that) just like a regular passport. It’s not biometric, though they do require a biometric photo. (Although ours was not quite right – his head needed to be a bit larger on the picture, but the lady, thankfully, let it slide!)

Another big difference is that the picture on this one can be renewed, so as he gets older and doesn’t look so babyish anymore (it’s valid for 6 years), I can go in and get a new picture put in. It also costs less than the official passport, and you get it printed right away at your appointment, unlike the official one, which takes a few weeks’ processing time.

Still waiting on his American passport to come in the mail – that one will be important for traveling to the US over Christmas. (Just less than three months and we’ll be there!)

But doesn’t he look so proud?